If it's a compact car you're looking for, the 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer will have your head spinning at nine enticing models. The Lancer is a clean and lovely car, even with its fish face. Some see a shark mouth, and say the Lancer is lovely because of it, not despite it. Its good looks give it distinction in its field. Its good engines give it value.
All 2011 Lancers have anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control standard, along with seven airbags, the latest being driver's knee.
The 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer lineup starts with the $14,995 Lancer DE, not quite bare bones because it's got power doors and windows, keyless entry and auto halogen headlamps, but lacks air conditioning, 60/40 folding rear seat, and cruise control. But it's got the same good 2.0-liter engine with variable valve timing making 148 horsepower. Driving gets more civilized with the Lancer ES with air conditioning and better seats, front and rear.
New for 2011 is the Lancer ES Sportback, a smooth-looking 5-door that made its debut on the 2010 Lancer Ralliart. Fuel economy for the Lancer ES is an EPA-estimated 25/32 mpg City/Highway. We found the Lancer ES offers decent steering response and tracks well through corners, with no excessive body lean.
The Lancer GTS climbs the ladder with its 2.4-liter engine, a gem of a powerplant coupled with a sweet 5-speed gearbox or 6-step CVT with paddle shifters (23/30 mpg). We tested the Lancer GTS Sportback version complete with front air dam and rear spoiler, our test car with a 5-speed, looking sleek in Graphite Gray Pearl and beautiful 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels. The GTS is a compelling value for its good looks, enjoyable driving characteristics, affordable pricing, and fuel economy, with an EPA-estimated 24/31 mpg City/Highway. If you don't need all-wheel drive or turbocharged acceleration, the GTS is the one, especially in the new Sportback body style with a great cargo area.
The all-wheel-drive Lancer Ralliart moves into high-performance land with an intercooled and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine making 237 horsepower, and showcasing Mitsubishi's racy 6-speed twin-clutch automated manual transmission. Sedan or Sportback, flared fenders, hood scoop, vents like shark gills, optional Recaro seats. The fishface gets a chrome ring, like silver lipstick on a largemouth bass.
The Lancer Evolution, the Evo, pumps out 291 horsepower. Shapely sedan only, with 5-speed GSR model, or with 6-speed twin clutch MS, which adds Bilstein shocks and lighter brake rotors. Have fun at the track, your car is ready.